Three days into Pride Month, the month commemorating the 1969 Stonewall riots and celebrating gay pride, rainbow flags line the streets of America, waving from restaurants and bars, grocery stores, malls, and, now, thanks to the Biden administration, many U.S. embassies around the world.
Unsurprisingly, rainbow flags only fly in countries where lesbian, gay, bisexual, and transgender people already have rights — and unsurprisingly, the Biden administration has nothing to say about it.
A statement released by the U.S. Embassy in Nassau on Tuesday said the Bahamas embraced the Biden administration’s “worldwide effort” to “highlight the contributions of LGBTQI+ persons around the world,” and that each U.S. embassy was invited to “fly the Pride Flag or light up their embassies with rainbow colors this month.”
The U.S. Department of State’s official message of pride month is: “You are included.” Many nations, however, have decided to forego Biden’s call to wave the flag high.
Seventy-one foreign nations criminalize private same-sex sexual activity, and 70 of those countries have a U.S. embassy or consulate. Saudi Arabia actively executes people accused of same-sex sexual activity, while killings of sexual minorities take place in at least 11 countries. Five countries implement the death penalty for same-sex activity, and the death penalty is a possible punishment in six more.
Despite the Biden administration’s efforts, none of those nations appear too prideful this month — at least on their flag posts.
Several U.S. Embassies in the Middle East, including in Jeddah, Riyadh, Dhahran, Logos, and Islamabad did not respond to The Federalist’s request to know if each respective embassy will hang a pride flag this month.
In May, Secretary of State Antony Blinken issued authorization for U.S. diplomatic outposts to raise the pride flag, according to a cable obtained by Foreign Policy. Blinken’s cable also noted that a pride flag outside some embassies — such as the ones in countries that criminalize same-sex activity — could do more harm than good.
“Posts should support efforts to repeal [criminalization] legislation, while ensuring that ‘do no harm’ remains our overarching principle so U.S. efforts do not inadvertently result
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